Brad Beal to Boston?

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Updated: December 21, 2021
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Recent news has circled around Bradley Beal and his future in the nation’s capital. Up to this point, Beal has said all the right things with regards to his home in Washington and his allegiance to the Wizards. However, his recent quotes must be something that has the front office heavily considering what a Beal exchange may provide at the trade deadline.

“I got time, so I kinda hold the cards right now. And one, I’ve never been in this position. I’m kinda embracing that, being able to kinda dictate how I want my future to be and where I want it to be,” Beal said on “Posted Up.” “And at the same time, I’m not gonna make that grand commitment and it doesn’t work. Ultimately, you have to be selfish at some point and for probably the first time in my career, Year 10, I am. And so I’m kinda taking advantage of it in a way.

It is especially concerning considering there have been several reports from Beal and Jason Tatum that they would “love to play together” as they’ve been friends since childhood. The Wizards do have the leverage of being able to offer him the supermax 5-year 254 million dollar contract since he made 3rd team All-NBA last season, however, we’ve seen players as of late being willing to take the cut to play in their preferred destination.

Only a few years ago, franchises were worried about creating salary cap room to sign stars…however we have seen all the players who wished to get somewhere execute the moves with ease utilizing the now popular and accessible sign and trade method. Boston has plenty of contracts and 1st round picks to absorb Beal without even having to touch their two All-Star wings in Tatum and Brown.

With all this considered, the Wizards must be having discussions about possibly trading him in a market filled with at least a half-dozen teams who believe they are contenders for the title this season. Washington started the year strong but has fluttered as of late and no longer look anything but a possible 1st round knockout if they can even get into the playoffs.

The question though is what is Beal worth at the moment with his jump shot being ice cold a quarter way through the season? Here are two exchanges to consider.

Boston

Boston has been one of the biggest disappointments this year and has continued to fail to identify who their Alpha in the room is in late-game situations. With this addition in the backcourt, it is unclear if the latter problem would be solved by adding Brad Beal, however, at least they are on different tracks in their career that should create a clearer chain of command. The tandem of Beal and Tatum could prove to be the best in the East if Jason continues to develop and it would most likely solidify his upcoming contract with the Celtics 3 years down the road. Beal has also never played off a wing talent of what Jason Tatum already is and considering he has yet to his prime Beal should be slotted in as the 2nd option once Jason hits his late 20’s.

The only question with Boston though, is if Beal is already seriously considering becoming a Celtic in the offseason, why would they part with one of the best two-way wings in basketball in Brown? Though we have seen several instances (PG-13 for example) where a player was heavily rumored to be going to a specific location and ended up elsewhere.

Washington

In my opinion, though, the Wizards win this trade by a landslide even if the two extra rookies are replaced by any of the other minimum contracts the Celtics have to match salaries. Jaylen Brown arguably is on currently the best value-to-production contract in the league. He also still has 2 years left where he will continue to be underpaid which allows Washington to retain some flexibility building around him moving forward. He also is a plus defender and eliminates the liability in the backcourt they have always had to deal with Beal on the floor late in games. With Nesmith and Pritchard, they continue to expand their young core which allows them to pick and choose which ones to keep and which ones to let go or use in trades moving forward.

Also, with how Beal has been playing, it is possible that the last two years were actually outliers of his production and his impact on a winning team simply isn’t at the level his value on the market implies. Straight up, Brown might just be a better playoff player than Beal…not only in the future but now. And to give him an additional extension into a future where Brad’s athleticism may diminish is a risk that the Wizards will not need to take with Brown. He has had the hamstring injury which is concerning however, he is significantly younger and they would comfortably be able to extend him after his current deal expires.

Philly

Up until this point, it appeared that if the Sixers wanted an All-Star guard for Simmons, they would have to include young Tyrese Maxey in the package. However, opportunistically, Beal simply hasn’t played like an All-Star guard this season. Both teams in this exchange act in an act of desperation and urgency. For Philly, it is to try to create a contender around Embiid and not waste a year of his prime. For the Wizards, the trade signifies that they cannot allow the possibility of Beal to leave for nothing and they would rather gamble on what Simmons could be moving forward on a new franchise. The Wizards in this trade would also accept that this is a bit of wash year and take the additional trade capital and send a small-ball option to Philly (in Harrell) who desperately need more versatile lineups in the frontcourt. Philadelphia would probably only be willing to do the trade if they could at least a half-measure of hope that Beal was willing to stay and extend in the offseason.

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